Can I be Fired If I'm Pregnant?
You cannot be fired from your job “because” you are pregnant. However, you can be fired from your job “while” you're pregnant, so long as the reason you are being fired for is a valid, legal reason. The following two examples demonstrate this difference:
Example 1: If you tell your employer you are going to be having a baby, and your employer is concerned about the potential 4 months of pregnancy disability leave you can take, etc., and elects to fire you, that would be unlawful. That would be a wrongful termination based on pregnancy discrimination.
Example 2: You are pregnant, and while you are pregnant, you violate a company policy which leads to your termination. Or perhaps your company is experiencing financial hardship, and there are some layoffs, including you. These would be valid scenarios where you could be fired, even while being pregnant.
What about “Pretext?”
Pretext, by definition, is a reason given in justification of a course of action that is not the real reason.
This is where employment law and labor law get very complex. How do you know that the valid and legal reason given to you (i.e., “the company is experiencing financial difficulties”) is the
reason for which you are being fired and not just a “pretext” for the real reason……because you are pregnant? This is where you need to make sure you are represented by an experienced
attorney. Your lawyer can gather evidence in discovery to build your case for discrimination.
Duvel Law has extensive experience handling situations where litigate reasons for termination were given under the guise of a proper termination, but were really a pretext for a